7 Affordable Small Business Marketing Plans

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When it comes to developing a marketing plan, not all tactics are a one-size-fits-all solution for small businesses. As a small business owner, you know the challenges of meeting sales, revenue, and marketing goals. From tight budgets, to meeting demands for fresh content, to potentially longer turnaround times, it’s a jungle. Luckily, you don’t have to pull a rabbit out of your hat to drive business and publicize your business.

Here are seven tactics for developing your small business marketing plan:

  1. Data and research

One of the advantages of your business over the big ones is the knowledge you have of your customers. You may even know them by their first name. Even if you don’t, you can take this relationship to the next level by doing a little brainstorming about what their needs might be.

What services could I offer that I don’t offer now? How do I build relationships with customers I already know? How can I reach people with similar interests to those offered by my business? How do I differentiate my business from others? Get customer feedback early and often, then focus on the right audience and demographic. Don’t rule out unconventional or guerrilla marketing tactics such as hosting a fun contest or aligning your products/services with a trending viral video or hot news.

  1. Login by email

Email campaigns are a great way to reach, support, nurture and promote your business. Sending audience-specific emails to customers is cheap and can earn you a lot of revenue. A recent survey found that customers who buy products via email spend 138% more than those who don’t receive offers via email (see #6). Additionally, several email marketing studies have found that Tuesday at 10 a.m. is the best day and time to send emails.

  1. Increase the speed of your site

Time is money when it comes to loading a web page. Google research indicates that more than half of mobile users leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load. Amazon found that just one second too long could cost $1.6 billion a year in sales. Check your site’s speed to see if it’s fast, so users can engage with your content quickly.

  1. Be accessible

Make sure customers can find you online, whether through desktop or mobile. You can do this by using search engine optimization (SEO) best practices when creating or updating your website. Think your website is already SEO optimized? Many things have changed. With nearly 60% of all searches done on mobile devices, Google has new guidelines. As of 2019, mobile-friendly design is king, which means Google now reviews your mobile version first for indexing and ranking.

  1. Be social

As a small business, connecting with customers is your forte. Go further by staying active on social media. A survey found that 90% of marketers say social media is essential to their business. Having a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other sites can help you better connect with your customers. If social media isn’t your forte, consider enlisting the help of an intern or knowledgeable employee.

  1. Offer Coupons

What is it worth for you to build a relationship with your customers? It might surprise you that something as simple as a $10 coupon or a BOGO deal can be the start of a beautiful friendship. An overwhelming 92% of respondents in a recent study say they have used coupons in the past year. It’s a great way to show your appreciation to both new and returning customers and then entice them with your awesome products or services.

  1. Go locally

One of the biggest benefits of being a small business is the ability to get closer to customers. But don’t forget your local network. Get to know other local businesses in the community with similar target markets. From there, you can form alliances, cross-promote, and market together. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to create large databases of contacts, increase brand awareness and grow your business.

To find more small business resources, be sure to check out the Growth Center.

Originally posted on https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/growth-center/resources/7-budget-friendly-small-business-marketing-plans

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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